Friday, April 17, 2020

Notes from Isolation: Istallment 4

It appears the country will slowly be "reopening," which I find to be a curious word. Has the country really been "closed?"

I suppose, in many ways, it has been, what with all the stores, schools and activities being shut down.

Wife and I have discussed it, and we don't really see much changing with us when the return to "normal" life begins in a couple-or-so weeks.

We are both over 60, so we are considered part of the "vulnerable" population (I promise that's the last word in quotes for this post). We really don't want to get the COVID sickness if we can avoid it.

So while we're going to go see our children and grandchildren as soon as they and we feel comfortable, we are also going to be careful. Daughter says she's not going to keep us from hugging  her children, who are now two and a half and almost six months, but I suspect it will be minimal and there will be lots of hand washing immediately following. But I can handle all the restrictions. I just need to see them.


I am going to be very unhappy if handshaking as we know it goes away. It is a gracious gesture and a sign of a civilized society. I taught all of my children they should offer their hand and look a person in the eye. Surely we can find a way to still practice this age-old gesture and still stay healthy.


There have emerged two schools of thought on how we've handled COVID.

The first one is the one that pays great attention to the science and believes it was absolutely necessary to shelter in place, stay at home, social distance, etc. To not have done so would have resulted in exponentially more cases, many more deaths and an impossible burden on our health care system, much worse than what we've seen.

According to this way of thinking, we are beginning to see fewer cases, and a slowing of the spread, because of the precautions that have been taken.

But there's another school of thought that holds we went way too far and are close to that slippery slope of losing the way of life we hold dear. What? We live in a free country and we're being told where we can and can't go? We've gone too far, they say, and the supposed models about all this were wrong. Look at what it's done to the economy -- all the lost  jobs and wrecked lives, while people are still getting sick.

There's an idea on this side of the argument called "herd immunity" (oops I broke my promise) where we should have just let the virus spread as it was going to, let those die who were gong to die (people die, and that's just how it is) and many would become immune even before a vaccine is developed.

(I know I didn't adequately explain that one, so look it up for yourself if you want more details).

I lean toward the first camp, although I've had my moments of thinking this is ridiculous. But when I hear the docs who are advising the White House (Drs. Fauci and Birx), and the surgeon general, speak, I just have to go with their expertise.

To be sure, I'm uncomfortable with all the government intrusion into our lives, and I do think it's time for the slow resumption of a more normal life, but I lean toward thinking, although perhaps some things could have been done differently, we needed to do what we did (and are still doing).

And it's what I'll continue to do for a while.

I'm fortunate to be able to work remotely and work for a company that's supportive of that. If this had happened pre-internet, things would be have markedly different.

All of this is one man's opinion, of course. If I've learned anything through all of this, it's that everyone has one!


Ed said...

We've talked too and I really don't see much changing in our lives as well once this abates. Probably the one thing that will change is that we will start going back to town musical events, albeit with a bottle of hand sanitizer in my pocket.

For me, this was our calling similar to my grandparent's generation where this wasn't about ourselves, but was for the good of the population as a whole. I'm thinking of Victory Gardens, Scrap Drives, War Bonds, etc. I think this has shown us who among us are mostly concerned about themselves.

Although I have a bit of trepidation every time I get a sniffle, I have never been overly worried about getting Covid. If it is my time, it is my time. Mostly what I feared was that if I did get it, I didn't want to spread it to someone else who may die as a result. So many people I think fail to think about this ramification of the disease and I think that is our failing as a society that my grandparents generation passed. Perhaps.

As a student of history, I know there were probably people back then who horded their metals, didn't buy war bonds or plant victory gardens. But the generation was labeled for their selflessness despite these people. Perhaps we've done enough that our generation will be similarly labeled by history. Only time will tell.

Bob said...

Ed, I think you’re exactly right and you have stated it beautifully.

Kelly said...

Interesting post, Bob, and interesting comment from Ed. I find my emotions swing high and low on a daily (sometime hourly) basis about all this. *sigh*

Debby said...

I am not sure how I feel about it. Like everyone else, I waffle back and forth about how much is 'too much'. The one thing that I know for a fact is that I don't know everything. I just don't. Therefore, it seems reasonable to listen to those who are more learned about epidemiology, about medical matters, etc. I live in a rural area which has tested less than 200 people with one positive, and one presumed positive who chose not to be tested. (He came back from Spain just as things were picking up there) I do not consider myself 'at risk', so my fears have never been about me or Tim, who is healthy as a horse. I think of the elderly people I know and love, and there are my concerns. They are dear to me and I would miss them terribly. I am a Christian, and I believe that there is a time for 'leaning not unto your own understanding' and to behave unselfishly. This is that time.

Bob said...

Like Kelly, I’ve been up and down on the emotional thermometer, and like Debby, I feel like I have to listen to the people — especially the scientists and docs — who know about this kind of thing.